Dear Blog – I Know Your Father



I get angry when people say to me, l knew your Father or l know your Dad … because l think, no you fucking don’t, l know my ‘dad’, l know my Father. You know a man who is a   …

The Chameleon!

……………. you most assuredly do not know my Father! You know a ‘person’, who just pretends to be my father.


In recent weeks for what ever reason, l have had nightmares on a continuous nightly basis, by whatever reason – l mean, whether they be induced by the tablets l was having, or the pain that the tablets were leaving me with or the recent stress and upheaval with my Father’s current plight l don’t know – or perhaps a combination of everything.

Thinking on it, l would say that considering l was experiencing the nightmares prior to the tablets arrival in June, that the truth is that it has been the stress my Father is causing me and more so in recent weeks. The nightmares are of old horrors, memories that at canny times choose to attack my slumbering brain, which is marginally better than when l used to experience them living the same nightmares when awake.

Last Saturday l travelled with Suze up to see my ‘dying’ Father and it fast turned out to be a huge regret on my part, and something l will not repeat eagerly. Suze and l decided following that visit that it was quite possibly one of the vilest excursions to see him. It left us both drained.

On the journey up there l noted down various things that were bothering me with the premise of perhaps making them into a poem, but have since decided against it…

…. on the verge of tears with anxiety,

Tablets not cutting the pain,

Music in the car a latin number on a beautiful sunny day,

Pain with every twist of the car,

… emotions aplenty, none good,

Anger within, the beast rising with every beat of my heart,

Must stay calm, stay calm,

Why are we doing this, why, is he he really worth it, is he going to appreciate it?

It’s all about him, atypically when has it not been? Me, me, me …

Memories of the years float back on the winds of the tears,

Not the way l wish to spend my day, our day!

There are better things to be doing on a day like today!


These are NOT the thoughts a Son should be having of his dying Father?


Yesterday, l had more stress, in addition to everything else going on … l had to once more spend two hours on the phone sorting my Father’s problems out. The previous days two hours l thought had gone well, but alas, they didn’t as l found out on Wednesday.

I had spent the previous day’s time speaking to NHS Continuous care unit based in Epsom, as well as a private care company sourced out by the NHS to tackle the task of furnishing my Father with a live in carer to take care of his medical needs in so far as a hospice type of treatment. i didn’t like doing it, but l did it. They asked me for a break down of my Father’s behavioural style – what was he like as a man?

I answered honestly, not spitefully, but honestly. … that my Father although lived like he was living 100 years ago, was not a traditionalist or particularly old fashioned as some are known to be but was a person that could be tricky, awkward and whilst on the outside he would look like he was a gentleman – the truth was he was a chameleon, he would adapt and change to suit the environment he was in or you were in. He would fool you into believing you were a friend, but the moment your guard was down or he noticed a chink in your amour, he would tear you to shreds. It mattered not to him if you were friend, foe or family, he saw no distinctive lines, you were simply fair game.

That under the guise of the chameleon, he would show YOU the person you wanted him to be, but those who truly knew him, and saw behind the facade of the masks, knew how cruel he could be.

That he was a sexist, a chauvinist, a homophobe, a racist, a bigot, a narcissist, a liar, dishonest, selfish, mean, arrogant, rude, ignorant, a bully, a hypocrit, greedy, a mental manipulator and was prone to violence especially more so now that his physical health was being sapped, and so he was becoming hurtful, judgemental, spiteful and vile. I continued and these for whatever they are worth to you, are just some of the points, but l say this to you as his Son, who knows his Father, inside out …. sadly. But many outsiders wouldn’t know that of him, because he was a very clever chameleon when it came to outside observers.

I advised them further, that the carer who would have to go in on a live-in basis, had to be tough and have a thicker skin. That my Father was a man who knew himself to be dying but was in denial and aggressive with it, that he displayed no loyalty to anyone except himself. However that his friends who can see nothing but a man who is frail and dying, weak and vulnerable will not only side with him, but he will side with them if it means he will get to a better point. That on this level he could not be trusted.

That the carer would have to understand these things about him, and above everything be wary.

I said that he was my Father and l did not like him, but l didn’t wish for him to have a miserable life, but l did not wish to hear of carers put into danger by him or his friends and l felt that the service provider had the right to know everything.

Previous carers to him, have been reduced to a mess by both him and his friends.

That in plain and simple words he was awkward and horribly forgetful. But l also stressed that he was 100% anti-live-in carer and that if they were to ensure this went smoothly from day one they were NOT to fuck up in any way shape or form. I also ensured that they knew that his neighbour friends were not just friendly, but overly protective to the point of confrontational.

Now if someone had told me all that and especially family, l wouldn’t judge until l experienced for myself  but l would tread very carefully.  Wouldn’t you?


The live – in carer was supposed to start yesterday at midday. The current carers were supposed to award the hand over to the new carer. Which did occur of sorts – it is the of sorts bit that went haywire!


Yesterday morning l rang my Father ay 9.01am, to see how his ‘new’ phone was and we spoke for 2 minutes in which time l told him about the care package arriving at midday, to discover that he didn’t know [truth is he had forgotten from the previous day].

At 9.48 am, l had a call from my Father telling me about his new phone and awarding me the telephone number, which l informed, that l knew of this when l had rung him earler, realising to myself that his memory was considerably worse than even Saturday just gone. He made no mention to anything else.

At 10.04 am, l had another more aggressive call this time egged on by the confrontational twit in the background, telling me that he was lying in his own soilings and that there were no carers in place, WTF was going on? Which admittedly was a good question considering the NHS had rung me the previous day to tell me that they had initialised this whole concept, so one would expect it to be correct!

However, annoyingly my Father doesn’t have to soil himself, he can use the tools at his disposal, but refuses to use them on the grounds that they are humiliating – like deliberately allowing yourself to be soiled isn’t? But more importantly in his own words, “That is my carers job, as it is a woman’s job to look after a man” it’s that line that just sums up who he is in my mind, that just speaks volumes to me.

From 10.05am – 11.03am l had been on the phone to the two organisations in question, trying to find out what the hell had gone wrong? It turned out that it was the previous carer’s blunder combined with the NHS not taking the situation firmly into their control. That due to my call, the carer was going to be there earlier than planned. They told me at the same time that one operator was speaking to me, that another was on the phone talking with my Father and another was talking to my Sister. That they found my Father very polite and understanding and cordial.

By 11.07 it was all sorted. The NHS had admitted they had made a mistake, they had spoken to my Father and apologised for their blunder – he then rang me, not knowing l had spoken to the people and got it sorted for him and said “Rory, this is all your fuck up!”

That’s my Father – right there.


Just got off the phone to him, he is still blaming me for my fuck up yesterday – our call was 94 seconds.

That’s my Father! I am worth 94 seconds of his time.

So when people say to me “Oh l know your Father, such a nice man, or l know your Dad.” I think , no you don’t, you don’t know him at all.

Dear Blog ……

18 thoughts on “Dear Blog – I Know Your Father

  1. I’m so sorry, Rory! That must be devastating for you. My father-in-law is also a wolf in sheep clothing. It’s amazing how they are able to manipulate & pull the wool over peoples eyes. Hugs, friend.

    1. Hey Kristian,

      I know, there are many wolves out there. I get insulted when people say that one line to me, ‘I know your father, or l know your Dad.” Like it’s a good thing, and it’s not. I am not like him, and he has never been the Dad or Father figure he portrays himself to be.

      Ask my Mother again, and she will say ‘that is the man that gave me miscarriages!’

      People not family, l don’t think should ever say that to a person, they should simply i knew Bob, Harry, Peter or Tom which they knew the man, the man they knew.

  2. Hay Rory,
    Sorry you had to deal with more crap from all this, hopefully things will calm down now that there is a live in care taker there.


      1. Aww some of those nurses can be colder than a block of dry ice and will put him in his place so fast his head will spen.

        BY FOR NOW

  3. I don’t know what to say…I have a lot of things I could offer, but I doubt they’d be helpful. You seem to be a very ‘good’ son to someone who isn’t such a great bloke. My advice to you would be to stop all contact with a man who makes you that upset, BUT. It’s your father and how would that be possible? Especially with him so ill and only you and your sister to care about him, however undeserved that care is. Just remember these days with him, and keep them close. Soon (I suspect…could be wrong…I don’t know your dad nor the circumstances really) he will be gone. Even as bad as he is now and as troublesome, trust me you’ll miss him when he’s not there any more. My mother was much the same (except for the lying around in her own waste..she’d have killed someone if that had happened…) and I never got to say goodbye to her nor take my leave. That bothers me still. So while it’s not a pleasant thing, at least he’s still with you. My prayers go out to you and your family. I’m so sorry too.

    1. Hey Melanie,

      The behavioural style of my Father isn’t just now, it’s been all of his life. He never wanted kids, but had us for status when he wanted try and be seen as ‘fitting in to the norm’.

      I have tried everything in my power to be the Son he could be proud of, something l tried up until my 40th birthday, until finally l faced off to him and told him to stop bullying.

      I could write a book on my Father an entire book on what a Father shouldn’t be like, and that is sadly not a lie – but an even sadder truth. I have never been what he wanted because truth be told, time and time again he has said to my face, l am never good enough.

      In recent weeks l have tried remembering the good times with my Father – all the way through my lifetime with him somewhere in the shadows, and they are slim on the ground.

      I still love him, out of the obligation that he is my Father and l am his Son. That’s where it stops. He has never been a Dad, not really. I didn’t expect to be worshipped or anything special, l just would have liked to have been properly acknowkledged as his Son, not to have to be seen as a challenge.

      The saddest of all my thoughts and thinking and conclusions is that l have perhaps half a dozen thoughts of my Father in 50 cognitive years that l can hold on and say ‘yeah he tried then’, and then l think and when he’s gone, l will finally be free of a man who battled demons all of his life and his biggest demon was having kids.

  4. At least you have us, and there are many here who have similar issues with parents, and know how it really is. We feel for you, and offer our support.

    1. Hey Cage, oh exactly my story is not uncommon, the secret is we have to learn how to not be and then put it into practice – l am happy with who l am, and l do know l have done my best.

  5. I understand this soooo well! Especially with the current batch of drama in my life with my ex.
    I cannot tell you how many people thought this man was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they didn’t live with him. They never suffered his abuse.
    It messed with my head for a long time, thinking maybe it WAS my fault. It wasn’t my fault!
    Hang in there JB! Virtual hugs!!

  6. Hey Rory…
    I hope you are having a good weekend…just wanted to say I have read the posts about the situation with your father.
    I have not always known what to say, but I do empathise!
    I have worked in healthcare for a long time and saw many “difficult” family situations.
    I have always tried as a carer to remember my job is assist with a person’s needs then and there. So many different patients…and for various reasons you often see some shocking and extraordinary behaviour (sometimes that is intensified as I am sure you know by dementia, depression or other reasons). As a carer, you have to maintain your calm and carry on trying to do your job as professionally as possible and afford each patient dignity regardless of the treatment you receive from them.
    I always remember that I don’t really know or understand the patient’s former life (although naturally we look for all the positive aspects to help us and them) or the family dynamics. We are just there to assist with the current needs.
    You seem like a lovely bloke and from what I have read, it is clear this has caused you a great deal of stress, I am really sorry for that.
    I just wanted to say I feel for you!

    1. Hey Mel,

      I figured you were in the health care industry by comments you have made before 🙂

      My Father has this small vessel disease of the brain, so l cannot rule that out, but he was unpleasant sadly before that came along, it might be intensifying everything for sure, but at the end of the day he’s dying, and he has got to be angry and upset , hurt and disappointed about that.

      I can empathise with him on that level, no one deliberately seeks the end of their days and this dreadful disease has collared him when he wasn’t expecting it and is eating away at his very life essence.

      I have been pondering literally over the last few days, if l am doing enough, l make myself feel guilty for it, then l pull myself back out and remember that l am doing everything l can for him. But it is hard.

      When with him, he doesn’t want to talk about anything, and l struggle to know what to say to him also, because the sadder fact is we have nothing in common. he had expressed long before this came about that l was one of the biggest disappointments in his life and that was only said last year. I don’t have kids and his ridulousness of ‘no one will carry on the name’ he believes falls upon deaf ears. That hurts somewhat given a major loss l experienced in 1987, but l move on from that. The continuation of the family name is not a priority with me.

      He has a live in carer now, and that has improved the quality of his end of days somewhat. I constantly forget that he gets lonely, where as l do not, and never have, although l am lost without dogs in my life, but don’t go searching for people, as he does. So having a live in, has got to be good for him 🙂

      It is stressful Mel, l will not deny that, but on so many levels, it’s sad the way things are going. I call him three times a week and our calls last if lucky for two minutes, but he has very little to say to me. A twenty minute call never happens, and l only reccount seven of them in 35 years.

      But thank you Mel, but also, because l do know just how hard your work can be, my Sister in the same industry and she derives a lot of personal gratification from it, knowing she is able to help someone, and give something back at the same time. So thank you too Mel, for the great work you do 🙂

  7. Healthcare is one of the strings to my bow – probably eight years in total. I left a healthcare job this summer and right now, I am a mix of employed and self-employed in entirely different fields…I do a bit of cleaning, a bit of accounts, a bit of retail, a bit of cooking, a bit of gardening (although I am going to give that a rest during the winter) and I do the occasional “unusual” job that gets thrown at me (I do like the variety and I am very organised with my spreadsheet showing my earnings and expenses for the good old tax man.
    I know words can crush…and especially when they come from a family member. You are doing what you can, but you will have your limits, especially because of the history you have described. If the situation puts your mental and emotional health in danger then it is very wise to stay within those limits and except all the support on offer from the health system with your father’s current needs.
    Aaaah Rory…a challenging situation for you…
    …you know challenges mean you are allowed to eat as much cake as you desire don’t you!

    1. Ah cake Mel, if twas a possibility but alas not. Chronic candida yeast overgrowth says no cake to me any more 🙂 But l can think of what it used to taste like 🙂

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